Lonely Planet Writer

If you go down to the woods in Copenhagen, you'll discover these giant friendly sculptures

Visitors to Copenhagen may notice strange creatures hiding amongst the wooded areas that lie scattered around the western outskirts of the city, but fear not, they are friendly. Created by artist Thomas Dambo with help from local volunteers, six large wooden giants constructed from recycled materials can be seen in the area as part of a sculpture treasure hunt route that has proven to be very popular.

A sculpture of Little Tilde at Vallensbæk part of the west copenhagen wooden giant treasure hunt
Little Tilde at Vallensbæk. Image by Thomas Dambo

Called The Six Forgotten Giants, the whimsical structures can be seen in the areas of Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup. The project was inspired by the idea of bringing art out of museums and showcasing the beautiful and often overlooked nature spots in the western part of Copenhagen, while at the same time providing an exciting experience for children, families, locals and tourists alike.

A sculpture of Tree Top Trine at Vallensbæk in west copenhagen
Tree Top Trine at Avedøre Sletten near Vestvolden. Image by Thomas Dambo

The sculptures were design elements inspired by Thomas’ experience in each of the areas. While exploring Rødovre to find a suitable spot for one of the sculptures, Thomas noticed that sleeping bags had been left by people sleeping rough, so he decided to create a massive structure of a sleeping giant that also doubles as a shelter. Another popular giant is Oscar, a troll built beneath a bridge in Ishøj whose hand reaches up to grab the side of it.

“I think there it is a beautiful aesthetic to the story, that someone cut down a tree to make something in wood that was then discarded, and now I put that wood back in a forest and made a big and beautiful sculpture. For me the sculptures represent this, that we should think twice before we discard our things, because they could become something magnificent,” Thomas told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Sleeping Louis at Rødovre, a sculpture that doubles as a shelter.
Sleeping Louis at Rødovre, a sculpture that doubles as a shelter.

Thomas also said that the sculptures are there to stay, as long as they are safe, and that the reaction from visitors and locals has been extremely positive.

Teddy Friendly at Høje Taastrup
Teddy Friendly at Høje Taastrup. Image by Thomas Dambo

More of Thomas’ work, as well as the treasure map for visiting the giants, can be found at his website.